Happy Mother’s Day! SKYPE! And Baptism!

Alright so this is going to be record short because we’re trying to go out and finish all our P-day stuff. But! We had a baptism this week! Brother Allan finally got baptized. President and Sister Reeder surprised us and came which was fun to see them and to have them there. The spirit was so strong as Brother Allan bore his testimony of the happiness he’s found through the gospel. Those are always such rewarding times on a mission when you get to hear how you’ve helped someone else find the joy of the gospel.

We did another CSP.. almost a weekly thing in this area haha. Always fun. We cut grass again. Oh! And we got to ride this thing called, “skates” which is a little cart thing on railroad tracks. Sometimes it really feels like Lagoon or something here with all the different ways of transportation haha.

It rained SO hard one day this week. I felt like it was raining harder than when the typhoon hit here. It didn’t last too long but it was hardest when we happened to be walking through a rice field which turns all the skinny paths into muddy slides. It was super fun though because our investigators were shocked when we showed up and wanted to still teach them even though it was raining like crazy.

Ramon and Maricris! Haven’t been married to their spouses yet so we’ve got to work on that… But Ramon especially wants to be baptized so hopefully we’ll get that all figured out.

Sister Richmond and Sister Ril are companions! And Sister Remolano (the sister that just left our apartment) and Sister Prakash are companions now so that’s crazy. They’re all in Naga! Know Sister Richmond must be happy :). Hopefully I’ll be able to see them all before July!

SKYPE!!! Yeah I got to Skype my family again and tell my wonderful Mother Happy Mother’s Day! So great to see and talk to you guys! Mikelle graduates next week and the week after that, Sidney gets married! So crazy. So excited for all of you. Next time I’ll see and talk to you, it was be in real life at the airport! But before then, I’ll keep working hard and enjoying this great work. I LOVE my family. I love this work and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Sister Taylor

 

(Sorry no new pictures this week…Sister Taylor couldn’t get her SD card to work.)

Glad the Internet is Working!

You probably get sick of hearing this but the internet isn’t working again. SO! That means lots of time to write my letter in a word document and no internet time actually emailing you all back so sorry in advance if I don’t email back to those who emailed:). Besides the weekly internet problems, things are going great! We had transfer announcements and…. No transfer! Which I really hope means this is my last area. I don’t think I’d like getting transferred my very last transfer in the mission but we’ll see.

 

Sister Saua and I worked really hard and we’ve seen lots of little miracles in the work! Our investigators have their struggles but all in all, the work is moving forward! Maricris (neighbor of Brother Ramon) has been listening to us just as long as Ramon but hasn’t been ready to commit to baptism until this week! She knows she needs to be baptized she just has to resolve a few things but please pray that she’ll go to church next week! She wants to go but she is really nervous to bring her son who is always nonstop.

 

Brother Allan is finally getting baptized! This Saturday, May 10. We really shouldn’t have any problems because he is more than ready but pray for him too that things will go smoothly. Although there are others getting baptized in the morning from Pasacao Branch, we decided to schedule his baptism in the afternoon so we can just focus on him. He’s taken everything we’ve taught him so seriously and he really understands the importance of the gospel.

 

Ramon is doing great! He’s so funny… He has a case for his Book of Mormon and he was at church 20 minutes early yesterday! (Being early is a big deal here cuz Filipino time is usually about 1 hour behind.) He said he wanted to bear his testimony but there was no time. So we taught him word of wisdom this week and he has absolutely no problem! And after teaching him word of wisdom we all ate watermelon… Perfect!

 

Maricon prayed! I think I’ve mentioned this before but missionaries have been teaching her for quite a while. She always refuses to pray after lessons. That’s pretty much been her agreement is if she’s going to listen to us, she won’t pray out loud. So we finally got her to pray and it was actually really long and sincere. Little by little we’re making progress with her.

 

Saturday we had National Day of Service (should have been in April but we were late.) We all went to the chapel that is being built in Pasacao. It’s pretty close to being done though and we didn’t really know how to do the construction stuff but it was still fun. I helped sand and paint. It should be finished this month!

 

The branch here is still so great. Yesterday at the branch council meeting, President Cedron told all the leaders that he wants them to focus on, “each one catch one.” So they’re all going to pick one name every month to focus on reactivating. There really aren’t that many less actives here but it’s still good to focus on those who have gone less active.

 

Alright so the internet was SO slow where we were so I never even got into my email. We’re at a new one now so hopefully I’ll have time to reply to emails but anyways that’s all for this week! I’ve been learning so much about the Plan of Salvation lately as I’ve been studying it for some of our investigators. Wow, our Heavenly Father loves us so much. His plan is so great and simple because all we have to do is live His Gospel which makes us more happy and then on top of that we get blessings after this life! So if you want to be happy, just follow the commandments, pray to our Heavenly Father who wants to hear from us and help others find that happiness too. Love you all and hope everyone has a great week. Happy Mother’s Day next Sunday!!! SKYPE!

 

Sister Taylor

 

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Watermelon!

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Helping out at the new church. I’m pretty much a pro…not! 

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Hike on P-Day with some investigators. 🙂

 

Wow..Got Nothing Today. Just Read the Email!

Hello everyone! Don’t know why but I’m feeling extra cheerful today so hopefully you can feel the cheer! Be happy everyone! Today is such a beautiful day! You make sure to count those blessings today cuz there are lots! Not too much happened this week though so enjoy the unusually short email.

Tuesday I attended my fourth new missionary workshop down in Naga. Always fun! And we even were able to get 7 Eleven ice cream before our bus left for Pamplona. Then the rest of our week was just busy trying to stay on top of all of our investigators! I love feeling like we have too much to do because then I’m more effective and it means the work is moving forward! So all our investigators are doing pretty good.. We have 4 investigators at church yesterday but with all of us 6 missionaries I think there were 14 that attended our small branch. Our Gospel Principles class was filled! There’s some great missionaries in this area so it’s fun seeing some results of all our hard work.

The heat is back! Wow aren’t you all proud… I haven’t talked about the weather in forever! But I’ve gotta talk about it this week because our power went on the worst, hottest day this week. It went out on Friday which was weekly planning. Noooo! It always seems to go out on weekly planning days. Try studying and planning for 6 hours in Filipino heat with no fans! At least I’m handling it wayyyy better than last year. Good news is I really have adjusted to the weather here. Bad news: don’t know how I’ll handle winter in Colorado/Utah.

Random story: Sister Saua is so funny. We have lots of fun and laugh all the time together but this week was especially funny when we got home from working, Sister Saua sits down and pulls out a knife from her bag! What the heck! She ate a mango earlier in the day and after she used the knife, for some reason she decided to put it in her bag haha. I told her she was lucky she didn’t pull it out during a lesson or something or we would have for sure lost some of our investigators!

Did another csp this week. So many of those this transfer! Always fun but this week we helped a lady cut grass. No lawn mowers here so we cut grass with knifes haha. Crazy though! I really should have taken a picture but the water that this family uses is from a well right outside their house. I don’t know if you can even call it a well though because it is this forever, super super deep hole in the ground with water. Nothing around it to stop people from falling in! Hope all those little kids are careful around the hole to China… Well I guess it’d be to America since that’s across the world from here 😉

We had district activity this morning. Just went to the church and played volleyball and basketball. My basketball skills have NOT improved but I did win a round of ‘gotcha ya’… Whoowhoo. I made pancakes this morning and shared my peanut butter and special syrup from Naga. You can’t get syrup or pancakes anywhere here. All the American Elders loved it!

Guess what everyone… I’m done! Yeah! Not too long. Another amazing week and just one more week till the end of another transfer! This Church is true and Heavenly Father loves us. He really does love each and every one of us. So let’s go make Him proud and serve His children and keep His commandments! Love you all!! Missionary work is the BEST!

Sister Taylor

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Muddy shoes! Oops!

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Sure wish the missionaries could swim!

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We’re allowed to get our ankels wet!

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Another random creature in our apartment. I don’t think I will miss that!

Happy Easter!

Had such a great week! Kay email time goes so fast but so much happened! But sorry in advance if the length of this email gets… well lengthy haha.

We had exchanges again this week. So fun! I was with Sister Barlow again. Since Sister Saua is so new here and so new in the mission, we had her go visit all of our investigators in one day and so Sister Barlow and I pretty much had a full day of tracting. Well we were able to contact a lot of our OYM (open your mouth) and then it was just lots of talking to new people and tracting. It was pretty good and we ended up getting in 5 lessons so hopefully when we go back we’ll have some new investigators. So funny though! We were riding the jeepney at this one spot in the highway where they’ve been doing construction on a bridge ever since I got here (Filipino construction is so funny… lots of guys in shorts and flip flops digging around with some shovels.) Anyways the traffic was SUPER backed up. Such a long line of cars both ways waiting to cross the temporary, one lane bridge. Well our jeepney driver wasn’t gonna have any of that so he just starts driving off the side of the road on the left side, sees that there isn’t room on that side so he crosses traffic and starts driving off the road on the right side. So he just passed the whole line of cars and cut in line at the front haha. Everyone loves cutting in line here. Anyways, so I got to go off roading in a jeepney! And just a repeat of last exchanges, the power was out again! Luckily it wasn’t hot this time though cuz we had no power the whole night, which means no electric fan the whole night…

So it is totally normal here to leave your front door wide open. Easy to tell if people are home or not just because their door is open. Just in this apartment we too usually open our door cuz it’s really hot inside so especially at night we have it open until we go to sleep. Always fun to see what new bugs will enter while we’re planning or studying. Anyways we have this cat that always tries to get inside our apartment. So the other night I was changing in our room and I hear this meow, turn around and the cat was just chillin inside our room! And then he wouldn’t get out! We’re exactly obedient but sometimes the no pets rule gets broken here in the Philippines.

Branch swimming activity! Us missionaries didn’t swim of course but it was super fun to just relax, talk to the members and eat lots of food! (Except I tried to not eat too much cuz I’m still doing some sort of diet thing.) Well I think at the activity there were 6 or 7 investigators that went between all of us missionaries. Allan went and said that he had a great time so it’s good that he’s making more friends and getting closer to the members.

The Assistants texted me randomly the other night and asked if I could design some sort of card for them that would be officially signed by the president with their picture and a scripture or something. Not really sure what it’s for but being able to design something… uh yes!!! So we’re still trying to figure out how I’m gonna be able to use a computer that has photoshop or some sort of design program but hopefully I’ll be able to help them out and design it for them. Miss my adobe programs!

Easter Sunday was so great! I got to wear my new Easter dress! And of course it was a really great day to remember my Savior and His sacrifice for me. I had a really great personal study as I read about Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death and then His glorious resurrection. Then during sacrament meeting I was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures about the Atonement in D&C 19:15-18. His suffering was so much greater than any of us can even imagine. And all we have to do is follow Him and repent. The gospel is so simple! It just takes effort, faith and diligence and we can all become like the Savior and receive mercy so that we can return back to our Father in Heaven. Alright so I don’t have too much time for the good ol missionary talk but just know that I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and I am so deeply grateful for His sacrifice for me and for all of us.

Sister Saua and I worked so hard! 30 lessons even though we had a whole day spent at the branch swimming activity. Our goal: work even harder next week! But of course it’s not all about numbers so here’s some updates on investigators:

Allan: I know you probably get tired of hearing updates on him every week but I just am amazed every week at his pure desire to do better and to be better. His prayers are just so sincere and he wants to be completely ready for his baptism. Right now it’s set for May 3 so we’re really trying to work towards that. And we finally we able to teach his 2 youngest kids, Lance and Claire. (Yes Claire! I’m teaching a girl named Claire!) Oh but yesterday Allan asked for scriptures about baptism that would help him prepare and know what to do. Golden! So I gave him a pretty good list, including my favorite chapter about preparing for baptism, Mosiah 5.

Ramon: Committed to a baptismal date finally! I wasn’t there cuz it was during exchanges but he’s doing great. He didn’t go to church yesterday though so we’ve gotta work on getting him to go every week.

Gilbert: We only taught once! But even though we only taught once he still came to church, all alone even. Of course hopefully May will go again next week but he’s doing great and he said that he’s been reading in the Book of Mormon.

Ernesto and Virgie: New family! And they actually seem really interested. They have the two cutest little kids, Eric and Erika and they’re SOOO sweet. Yesterday was our second visit with both of them there and they read the Book of Mormon together as a couple! Then read even farther than we asked them to. Haha so funny cuz they asked me right when we got there if I was related to John Taylor, the third President of the church. “Uhh…. I wish but how do you know who John Taylor is?” Hah I guess they looked up ‘Taylor’ in the index of the Book of Mormon and his name is there.  Oh and Ernesto was wearing a BYU shirt! We took pictures at the end so you could see this cute family and see his shirt.

Maricon: Clarise’s Mom (she’s one of the two sisters in the branch preparing to serve a mission.) We’ve been teaching her just every once in a while since I first got here. Well these past few weeks we’ve really tried to focus on her and she’s slowly progressing! According to her teaching record, the first time the missionaries tried to teach her, well they didn’t teach because she didn’t want to listen. Well just this past week she now told us that she believes that the Book of Mormon is true, that the church is true and she pretty much said that she wants to be baptized. The problem is her husband works in Saudi and doesn’t get home till October 2015. She said that she doesn’t want to do it without him because she wants it to be her whole family. So we’ve trying to figure out how to solve that but she’s made lots of progress from where she started being so against the church.

Alright so I think I got everything in. I’ve actually had more typing time than I planned because I can’t get any of my email or onedrive stuff to work so sorry if I don’t respond to personal emails this week! I think we might have to search out a new computer shop next week. Well I love everyone! I love missionary so much, it really is just pure joy when you are able to help others come closer to Christ and gain stronger testimonies of Him. Have a great week everyone! Sorry I’ve been so terrible at shout outs in my emails for like my whole mission but shout out to Sidney! She just turned 19 this week!

Love ya!

Sister Taylor

(And sorry there aren’t any pictures to post since she was having such difficulty with her computer. 😦 )

2 Hours! And Share the Love <3!

Alright so the big news this week besides all the great things I learned at General Conference and Zone Conference is… My email time has been cut permanently. Yeahhh I know that probably most missionaries only get one hour for email but I just think that I’ve been blessed to have 3 hours for most of my mission to keep my fan base happy back at home… Whoowhoo! Haha but President decided to cut out time down to 2 hours. Still more probably than most missionaries but still… One hour gone! That’s alright though cuz I’ve figured out some tricks to try to make my email time for efficient. Don’t except the best emails everyone though cuz I’m on a race for time now!

Okay so in order to make this faster, I’m gonna do my email a bit differently by just getting to the point so sorry if it seems spazy!

Investigators: Allen is still doing sooo great but… he decided on Saturday when he was interviewed that he needs more time to prepare. It was pretty much his choice but he told us last night that he just really wants to make sure he’s completely repented of past things so that he can feel totally ready for his baptism. So kind of a bummer he won’t be getting baptized on April 19 but! I would so much rather have him be ready than not. Baptism is a sacred ordinance and I’m so happy that he’s realized how important this is. We taught a really great lesson last night to him though as we tried to help him know how to repent and prepare. We read from one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon in Alma 36 and he just really seemed to understand what repentance is, how to do it and why it is important. I’ve learned a lot from teaching him. So even though he tells us how grateful he is all the time, I really am the one that is grateful for him! Such a golden investigator.

Ramon! Don’t know if I’ve told you about him but we’ve been teaching him and his neighbor, Maricris. Ramon is in his 50s, has one child that works away from home and his wife also works in a different town (but she came home for a month so we were able to teach her too last night! She’s pretty against it so far but people can change so let’s hope we can make a difference before she goes back to work!) So Ramon is pretty religious, likes to comment about how no one in this world seems to know God and he’s been slowing changing as we’ve taught him. Maricris too but she has trouble with her 1 year old son so she doesn’t want to go to church with him. Well Ramon promised he would go to church this week (as many of our investigators do) and he actually went! So perfect because what was this week at church?? Well it was a week delayed than all of you but we had General Conference this week! So Ramon and Allan both said that they really liked all the messages they heard. Perfect for them to actually hear from the living prophet that we testify of all the time.

Gilbert… haven’t been able to teach this week. But we have taught his daughter May who went to church with him last week and she’s great. For only being 15 she is pretty mature and she really wants to find out for herself if everything is true. She was telling me though what happened to her mother who passed away 2 years ago and I guess she had cancer. Her mother was sick almost ever since May can remember but her mom continued to work and even have kids! So when she passed away, she left Gilbert with 7 kids and the youngest being only a few months old… So sad, such a hard life. The oldest, just left to go find a job in Manila and then hopefully start providing more for them. He’s 17 years old. Anyways, I was so touched by her story I am determined to help them feel the power of the Atonement and see how the Gospel can bless their lives. Hopefully really hopefully we’ll be able to teach Gilbert this week. Still haven’t even taught him the Restoration.

Zone Conference. Amazing! Wow learned so much. It was all about receiving revelation and I know that the things I learned will help me throughout my whole life. President Reeder is an amazing teacher. We watched such a neat Mormon Message! With technology here a little behind the times, I hardly ever get to watch the new Mormon Messages. So we watched the one about Joseph Smith… Well it wasn’t about him but it was a girl who wanted to find out the truth and they used Joseph Smith’s words for it. Find it and watch it if you can! I was called to bear my testimony… did it in English so President and Sister Reeder could understand. Wow, love bearing my testimony! Then we also watched a CES Fireside by Tad R. Callister about the blueprint of Christ’s Church back when he was on the earth, is exactly the blueprint of His Church today, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not sure when he spoke but that was really great too. I know that this really is Christ’s restored Church on the earth today! Oh and during the conference, President Reeder told us that every single mission in the Philippines is going up in baptisms. Of course they all should be because every mission has had an increase of missionaries! But he said they figured if there were more baptisms per companionship and only 4 missions have gone up in efficiency. Philippines Naga Mission is one of those missions! So not being prideful, humbly stating here that Philippines Naga Mission is the best in all the land! (Sounds really cheesy but that’s our mission saying haha.)

Sharing the love! So General Conference was AMAZING!!! Who’s with me?! Yay! So great. I know that the prophet’s can’t really be your favorite because he’s the prophet but President Monson’s talk was really one of my favorites. This isn’t quote for quote but he said how every day we are given opportunities to show love and to serve others. Every day! Do we look for those opportunities every day? We should! And then he said that blame opens wounds and forgiveness heals. And that every morning we should determine to respond in love. So simple but I feel like I can do better at sharing the love and forgiving others. So to everyone… If I’ve ever done anything or said anything to you that wasn’t Christlike, I’m sorry! And I’ll try to be better.

Okay and as far as the other talks go… I wrote down just a few highlights of what I liked… It ended up being a lot but I learned so much! Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Christlike love is the greatest need for this planet.” Neil L. Anderson talked about fighting Satan’s whirlwinds which actually makes us stronger. Henry B. Eyring said that when he accept calls to serve, it shows our faith… I accepted this call which was out of faith because I had no idea what I was getting myself into haha. He also said to let Christ be the leader of your family and all things will work out. (These are quotes or even all the main themes of their talk, just things I liked and wrote down.) Russell M. Nelson talked about religion being our tie to God. So we need to ask ourselves, who are we tied to? And we need to let our faith show. Claudio D. Zivic talked about piano! So I liked the comparison of how there comes a point in piano lessons, where you actually learn to love it and no one has to force you (Mom, I did end up getting to that point haha.) He said we need to get to that point in our conversion. Dieter F. Uchtdorf told us to be thankful IN our circumstances. No matter what we’re going through, we need to be thankful! M. Russell Ballard followed up on his commitment to all of us to invite someone to learn about the gospel before last Christmas… Always a great teacher when you follow up. And of course loved his talk cuz it was about missionary work! So I would love to start hearing about all the things you’ve learning in Preach My Gospel… Love that book! Gary E. Stephenson talked about how life is our 4 minute race. I also thought that worked well for my mission right now because it is such a short time, but I’ll the rest of my life to think about it, and well even the rest of eternity. My 4 minute race is now! David A. Bednar did a great job talking about how the Atonement is for everything and how Christ will make our burdens light. So even for those righteous followers of Christ, we can and need to use the power of the Atonement in our lives. L. Tom Perry taught about the Holy Ghost leading and guiding our lives. Lorence E. Corbridge pretty much lesson 1… The first lesson we teach as missionaries haha so that was neat to listen to. Michael John U. Teh talked about the Philippines! So of course I loved that… But it is so important that we lay our treasures in heaven, not here on earth because we won’t have our earthly possessions forever! And good story about the 70 year-old lady washing clothes… Sadly but that’s the life of many hear. It is so neat though that she found the gospel and even in her circumstances, she was still grateful for the many blessings of the temple and the gospel in her life.

Alright! So idk how I’ve typed so much… You probably now think I’m lying about my time cut short haha. So I really have to go look at pictures from my amazing fam and put my pictures up and respond to other emails and write President Reeder but there ya go for this week! Love the mission and love the gospel!

Sister Taylor

P.S. I got mail! A card from Grandma Sanford, another cute pouch from Sister Richmond haha, and a dress from Grandma Jefferies! SO cute. Thanks Grandma and Mom… great taste. Love you all!

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Here is the dress from Granda Jefferies! She is saving it to wear on Easter Sunday. 🙂

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Sister Rhea

Sprint to the Finish Line!

Sprint to the finish line! That’s my analogy for the rest of my mission. Soj ust like a long distance race, you start out and it’s usually kind of hard cuz you have to adjust and find your pace. Then you pace yourself, push through the middle and then as you get closer and closer to the end, you go faster and faster until you see the finish line and then you SPRINT! So I’m not quite yet at the finish line, but that is my moto so that my last few transfers and weeks will be my very hardest working weeks of my mission. Sprint!

So this week was good… super fast! We did a family home evening in the sister’s area and the elders went too. Then Tuesday we did a service project in their area which took a good amount of our time but that’s alright cuz we were able to help a less active out and it was super fun. Kind of hard to explain but here, people don’t have yards, they have areas of dirt with usually plants lining the outside. So the lady needed her ‘yard’ cleaned up so we swept the earth cuz it was covered in leaves and things and then we burned all of it. Love the different kinds of service projects here. Sweeping dirt and washing clothes by hand!

Alright so we didn’t do too much teaching this week but we did find some great potentials! We’re really focused on finding right now because a lot of our investigators are actually in other missionaries areas! The boundaries have never really been clear since I got here so finally I think we got the boundaries all figured out so hopefully we won’t go tracting in other areas anymore. I guess we were just trying to be charitable though and help the elders and sisters out ;). And for those of you who remember Jose and Josephine a couple weeks ago, they’re actually in the elders area so we won’t be teaching them anymore :/.

Brother Allan is still doing great (luckily he really lived in our area) and right on track to be baptized April 19! He said yesterday he feels lucky to have met us because his life it changed. He said that he really likes how it seems like we never forget God. Before he wouldn’t really think about God or religion but now, we teach him about 3 times a week, he goes to church, and he said that sometimes if he feels like he’s forgotten a bit about God then he’ll like see us walking by or riding on a jeepney or something haha. So he’s the best!

 Time is so important on a mission. This week there was one night where it was a questionable time where we could just go home or we could try to teach one more lesson close to our house since there probably weren’t that many more jeepneys that night. So of course we decided to go out and teach! It was our third visit to this family and our first visit, a family member, Gilbert was there who listened too. Well we haven’t been able to go to Gilbert’s house yet because we haven’t had a sister work with us in that area and his wife past away two years ago so there aren’t any other women except for his kids. Well this third visit, he was there again and he seemed more interested than the others. So of course we invited him to church and so on our way to church yesterday, he was on that jeepney with two of his kids, headed to church! So even though we’ve only taught him twice, he seems really golden. He knows a ton about the bible and religion so hopefully he’ll soon realize that this is the restored church.

More fiestas this week! So especially in this area, Catholic fiestas are the thing! Party party! Not the best though for missionary work. People are always busy and drunk. But we did get fed twice though on Saturday. Speaking of Saturday… that was supposed to be the General Women’s Broadcast. I was SOO excited for it all week. Well I guess you can never expect things to go smoothly here in the Philippines haha. So we got there and it looked like it was all set up. At 1 the sound started but there wasn’t any video! And even though it wasn’t live, it still was a live feed to the church satellite and so we couldn’t like pause it till we fixed the problem. Well I have more computer knowledge than probably most Filipinos so me, another American sister, a couple members and President Cedron tried to get the video to work for like 30 minutes. Still couldn’t get it to work so we just decided to listen and try to get as much out of it as we could. So the video that you talked about, Mom, we only listened to it! So if I get time today I’m gonna try to go and watch at least the video from the broadcast. I hoping and praying that we won’t have problems this weekend as we watch conference!

Okay… That’s about it this week! I know Thomas S. Monson is the true prophet on the earth today and that he has been called of God. Hopefully all of you learned lots and enjoyed conference. Try to apply those things that you learned to your life! Love conference! So excited for this weekend! Love you all!

Sister Taylor

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A dance put on by one of the branches in the district. 

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Beautiful Philippines!

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Service project!

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Here is here motto for the rest of her mission…Sprint to the finish line!

5 Star Hotel!

Ahh email isn’t working too well and I have so much to email so hopefully  I’ll have time to get this all in. Alright so yes this week was amazing! Of course going to Naga is always a highlight but it was just a good week. So Tuesday morning Sister Ril and I left on a bus for Naga (stood the whole time cuz there weren’t seats haha). We went to SM! I ate McDonald’s and Sister Ril got rice somewhere (can’t live without the rice). Then we went to the church for transfer announcements! I think it was the biggest transfer so far because over half of the mission was there so that was fun to see a lot of other missionaries. Sister Ril got transferred to Naga! I’m sure she’s been enjoying the city life since she came from the middle of absolutely no where (yep that’s my area! Haha love it though).

Some exciting things at transfers… I saw Francis! Ahhh! I haven’t seen him since I left Naga in August and he is just doing amazing. Wow so solid. That’s always rewarding. And then Tigaon was made into its own zone! Tigaon Zone! I think there’s even more missionaries there now and yep the work is just moving forward!

So then I was put with two other sisters were are also training and we worked together the rest of Tuesday and then went to the mission home together on Wednesday. We stayed the night in the Naga sister’s apartment (a new apartment) and it was SO nice! I felt like I was staying in a 5 star hotel! Haha. Anyways so Sister Rosenburg was one of the sisters in our temporary companionship and it was SOOO fun to get to know her. Partly because she reminded me a ton of Haley! She’s from Australia though so she was like an Australian version of Haley.

Anyways, she has been through so many incredible difficult things. I won’t go into too many details, but her dad got cancer when she was 11, her parents got divorced pretty soon after that, her mom left her and her siblings (she’s the youngest) when she was 14 and she’s been supporting herself (as in paying for everything!) since she was 11 years old. Life is hard here but Australia is pretty similar to America and idk it just sounds like she has been through SO much. So she met the missionaries I think when she was around 16 and she didn’t really like what they had to share haha. One of the first sisters that taught her, was about to drop her as an investigator but then she finished her mission and new sisters started teaching her. Well anyways, some amazing things happened where she gave everything a chance. She decided to find out for herself and see if God really did love her even though she had been given such a hard life. Well she felt His love, felt the power of the Atonement and joined the church. Incredible. Well even more incredible is after she decided to serve a mission, one time going to the Provo Temple while training at the MTC, and she saw that sister that almost dropped her and left before she saw her start progressing! The sister missionary started to just cry when she saw her. Can you imagine seeing an investigator that you taught, almost dropped, didn’t hear anything after that and then saw them in the temple! And they were from a different country! I told Sister Rosenburg she needs an ‘I’m a Mormon’ video made about her. So anyways, I’ve learned so much from my mission but sometimes it’s even been from other missionaries and their examples.

So even though it was my third time doing the trainers training, I still learned things! It was the third time I’ve watched one of the talks that Elder Holland gave to missionaries at the MTC in 2011 but I still felt inspired to do an even better job. One thing that stood out to me was the question that Christ asked Peter after Christ’s death and resurrection. He asked him, “Do you love me?” I think we all need to ask ourselves that. Do we love Christ? Do we love Him enough to give anything for Him? Do we serve Him? Do we try to be like Him? If we do, then we need to act. We need to follow Him forever. In Christ’s Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we do not just follow Him by being baptized and then we are done. We promise to follow Him forever. So I know that even after my mission, I will still stand as a witness of Jesus Christ, I will serve Him and I will follow him forever, to the end. This Gospel is true and it is the only way to true happiness, peace and joy in our lives. I also loved what President Reeder said to all of us trainers and trainees. He said that there are 3 things that make a good missionary, a great missionary. First, we need to love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength. Kind of what I liked from Elder Holland’s talk. Then we need to be exactly obedient. He said that sometimes missionaries think that we cannot be exactly obedient. He said to get that out of our minds and just do it. And the third thing was we need to work hard and be diligent. So I have really tried my whole mission to be obedient and hard working but it was good to be motivated to do an even better job. I’m still trying to become that great missionary!

So my new companion! Sister Saua! She’s from Samoa… sweet! So I’m training foreigner number three haha. I forgot how much work training is in the beginning! But it’s been good. She has a great attitude and she’s always happy. And she hasn’t had any problem adjusting at all… Haha guess it’s just us Americans. She’s even taught me a little bit of Samoan and Tongan. Haha SO funny. I’m afraid to say please and thank you in Tongan… Look it up for those of you who have Google access and you’ll see what I mean.

So… Hopefully I’m doing an even better job training this time but one thing I haven’t been good at so far is feeding my aki! So we didn’t go buy food when she got here because, well, there just isn’t any place to! Plus we didn’t have too much money haha. But luckily we actually got fed a few times! Saturday we got little muffin things in the morning, got fed lunch and then got fed a snack of this sweet sticky rice stuff (my favorite called sinoman in Bicol) and juice. But on Sunday we really didn’t have food so we had to break out the 72-hour kit haha. Lots of canned tuna and canned corn beef in this area though. Haha doesn’t that sound good mom! Filipinos just don’t understand what food is like in America. Had another Filipino say to me this week that Americans just eat bread. Not true! Oh well. I’m just really looking forward to food in a few months.

I almost got kidnapped this week! Haha well not reeeeally… I’m safe and fine but it was just kind of weird. So all four of us sisters were waiting for either a jeepney or tricey and after a while a tricey finally came. So the guy pulled over, I was the first to get in and usually the drivers wait for everyone to get in. Well after I got in, he just took off! Haha so I started telling him that all of us were riding so he slowed down a bit, but then started again! I was really thinking about just jumping out because I wasn’t going without my companion but then I guess all the screaming sisters behind us and the guys watching from across the street made him finally stop. He said sorry and said he was just confused but… I’m not sure exactly what he was thinking haha. I’m safe though and fine so don’t worry!

I got two cards from my wonderful Mother this week! And a package from Grandma Jefferies! Thank you so much! Sorry I’m not very good about the shout outs in the emails but maybe you’ll feel extra special this week cuz I actually put that in this week. Such a long email! So if you’ve made it this far, then you are my true friend! Haha love you all. Hope you have another wonderful week and make sure to count your blessings, say your prayers, read your scriptures and go to church!

Sister Taylor

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The “5 star hotel” AKA the nicest apartment she has gotten to sleep in, sadly for just a short time.

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They even had a washing machine that they are trying out to see if they should get these for the sisters or not. But if they do, by then Jaycee will probably already be home. She spends a lot of time each week washing all of her clothes by hand.

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Sister Taylor’s new companion, Sister Saua from Samoa. Training once again!

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Sister Saua loving being able to teach in the Philippines!

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Package from Grandma Jefferies! Yahoo, Cadbury eggs are the best! Thanks Grandma!

Aki Number Three!

Saturday night we heard about transfers…. Sister Ril is getting transferred and I’m training AGAIN haha. This will be my third aki (child) in the mission! I still feel nervous even though I’m a lot more experienced and I’m not opening an area this time… but it should be good. I’m pretty excited though because I really do love training. But I figured that out of all of my 11 transfers in the field, 8 of them will be in training (2 for my own training and 6 for my children). And since the other 2 transfers have technically been in follow up training, so far I have never really experienced just being in a totally normal companionship (although this transfer was pretty much normal because Sister Ril is was great and I didn’t really feel like her follow up trainer). So I’ll most likely be here in Pamplona for the next 2 transfers and then my last transfer… Don’t know if I’ll stay or go to a new area so this could be my last area of my mission! (Total of 3 areas for my whole mission if that’s true haha).

 

So this week was GREAT!!! We had to drop some of our investigators which was kind of a bummer but we have some new great potentials that I’m excited to continue teaching. Allan finally went to church! He actually knew a lot of people and he kept telling us how happy he was. He answered in Sunday School Class that we need to repent and endure to the end haha. Then a few hours after church we visited him and he was so happy about church and he just went on and on about how much he liked it and how he’s going to go every week from now on. He is really preparing now for his baptism on April 19. So excited!

 

Yesterday though hearing Allan talk about how much he enjoyed church and things just made me realize how important church really is. My whole life I have gone pretty much every single Sunday except for being sick and one time at college when I slept in (Ryan probably remembers that haha). But I think a lot of times I haven’t realized how important it really is. Church every single Sunday, all three hours, is so key to enduring to the end. We need to renew our covenants every week with our Heavenly Father through partaking of the sacrament. Church also strengthens our faith as we hear other members testimonies and as we teach our selves. Relationships with other members are strengthened and hopefully our relationship with God is strengthened every week. I love going to church!

 

So other things this week… There are so many missionaries in this area! One time this week when we were riding a bus, there was a sister missionary from a different religion preaching on the bus! She had a speaker thing and everything! Weird to hear a different missionary teach. So much religious contention here and so lots of new people we’ve taught have talked about how what we’re sharing is good but that it’s just the same as everyone else. Well sadly, they are wrong! The message of the restored gospel is either true or not and anyone can know it’s true through reading the Book of Mormon. (Haha this whole email is sounding really Preach my Gospelish… but it’s true!) That is the most effective way to know if this really is the true Church of Jesus Christ. As we read the Book of Mormon with a true desire, the Holy Ghost will testify to us that it is the word of God. The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets who received direct revelation from our Heavenly Father. No other church has that proof. I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon on my mission as investigators have read to really find out for themselves. It is so true everyone!

 

So related to that, this week when we got to Nanay Erlinda’s she was reading her Book of Mormon! She just got new reading glasses so she was so excited to be able to read for herself instead of us reading for her. And after teaching a new investigator, Brother Ramon, he started reading right after we left! We teach him and Sister Maricris outside under this little hut thing so we saw him a few minutes later still reading as we walked by. Best thing when investigators read!

 

And another story about the Book of Mormon… So there are lots of fiestas here in the Philippines. They are always some sort of Catholic thing and there is always lots and lots of alcohol. Well Brother Allan told us this week that he just wants to avoid the fiesta altogether because even at his house he knows his friends will try to get him to drink. So he told us he just wants to take some food, bring his Book of Mormon and just read in the middle of a rice field until the fiesta is done haha. Not sure what he’ll actually do but we so proud of him for wanted to be obedient!

 

So Sunday morning we woke up to no power… which here means no water haha. Luckily they have a water pump outside the house so I really felt like a Filipino pumping my own water for my bucket shower haha for church.

 

Alright lots of random things as always. Sister Ril and I had a really good transfer and I’m excited to see who my new aki is! The other two sisters are staying together so only Sister Ril is leaving. Excited for SM this week!!! Hopefully I’ll have time to buy some Pizza Hut or something. I really eat rice for almost every meal here (although I usually have my own breakfast of bananas and peanut butter or something in the morning). Okay well everyone have a super great week! Love you!

 

Sister Taylor

 

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Crossing a bridge.

 

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Monday night laundry…always a party!

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Dinner under the stars…gotta love it when the power goes out.

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Okay…is this the strangest looking cat or what?!

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The beautiful church, only 4-5 years old.

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Alan went to church!!! New shirt & shoes! So happy he came!

 

 

ilovephilippines!

Yeahhh!!!! I LOVE the Philippines!!! I’m seriously in the best mission. The craziest weirdest funniest things happen here that are just the best. For example, yesterday we were just walking down the road and we saw a rat walking on a power line above our heads. You’ve never seen that in America right?! Also this week we were riding in a jeepney like normal and it almost crashed! So thanks for all your prayers cuz I’m being protected! It’s pretty amazing that accidents don’t happen all the time here though cuz like I mentioned when I first got here, the driving is nuts. I’m sure gonna miss that though cuz it’s always an adventure here.

So this week I hit my ONE YEAR MARK in the mission. Ahhh I’m getting old in the mish! Doesn’t always feel like that but wow time has gone fast. So this week was neat to think about the many things I’ve learned and the different ways I’ve been able to grow. I read a lot of my MTC notes from a year ago… Haha I had NO idea what my mission was going to be like or even what the Fillipines… Philipeans…. Philippines was. So yep I’ve learned lots of different culture things and yeah I can speak another language now, but it’s amazing how much my testimony of the gospel has been strengthened in just a year. I knew that I was doing the right thing and that my message was true before I left, but I don’t think I really understood that I would be sharing something that is of eternal worth. The gospel is more important than our jobs, schooling, what food we eat, what clothes we wear, if we have a lot of friends, if we have the newest cell phone…. whatever! We have so many things on this earth to enjoy and that make us happy. But I know that we can only find true and eternal happiness through the gospel. I know that because the people here that I teach, don’t have hardly anything of worldly worth. But the ones that have found the joy of gospel are so happy! So anyways… I know I’m not a great writer or anything haha sorry if these emails get boring at times, but just know that I love missionary work and I know that the things I am sharing are true!

Alright so back to email stuff… We had exchanges this week! Sister Barlow and I had fun getting to know each other better. She goes home the same time as me and she’s going back to BYU too! Haha we accidentally tracted in the wrong area though. People don’t really have maps here cuz there aren’t really streets here so sometimes the boundaries are sometimes confusing. “Doon sa amin at doon sa inyo” is how we have determined the boundaries here (over there is you and over there is ours haha).

But we have had some success with our tracting this week! (Yep doing more and more of that in this area..). So we’ve found lots of potentials which is exciting. Some that are not so great and some that are golden.

Not so great: Arnel. Haha so he is some big guy with tatoos that lives alone, seemed kind of nice but a little creepy. Well we went back when we had another sister with us so we could teach him. First lesson we extended the baptismal invitation and he answered in English, “I’ll be there, what time?” Haha so we invited him to come to church and he said he’d go but… we’re not too sure if he’s more interested in having sisters come visit or actually in the gospel so we gave him to the elders. He didn’t go to church so we’ll see if he’s really interested when the elders go back.

Golden: Jose and Josephine… So nice when we tracted into them cuz they let us in right away and gave us bananas. When we went back with some branch missionaries (they’re awesome! we almost always have a member working with us) Jose was home alone so we taught him and invited him to church. Well he and his mom, Josephine ended up coming! Ahh so excited! Good cuz Allan didn’t go to church… again :/. But we visited Allan last night and he’s doing great still and he invited two friends to come listen. Well next Sunday is either Sister Ril or my last Sunday so he promised to go haha. We’ll see!

Sister Ril and I worked extremely hard this week though! It’s amazing how many blessings come from obedience and diligence. But we taught 34 lessons this week which is a record for my mission! We did have splits when the sister training leaders came so we had 2 companionships working our area for a day but it still was a really great week. I think we’ll see a lot of growth in this area over the next few months. Pamplona zone I think is the fastest growing zone in the mission right now so exciting to be apart of everything here.

This morning we had another district meeting and went to the beach again! Whoo! Always fun. Alright well this is getting really long and I don’t have too much time today so that’s it this week! But everyone have a super wonderful great week and try to serve at least one person this week! Love you all!

Sister Taylor

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Family Home Evening

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It is so pretty here!

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Lunch after district meeting.

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Crazy bridge we had to cross!

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Hanging out at the beach for a disctrict activity.

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At least there’s always Brother Allan!

So some weeks on missions are just not too eventful. This week was one of those. But it was still a good week because I’m a missionary so of course it was a good week! I’m serving the Lord and helping others come closer to Christ! There were a few little harder days this week cuz it hasn’t felt like our investigators are progressing too much but that’s fine cuz I just kept telling myself ‘at least there’s always Brother Allan!’

Sooooo…. he didn’t go to church :/ Bummer! But he told us last night that he wants to buy shoes and have the right clothes before he goes. We told him he didn’t need to but I guess it’s a good thing because it shows that he knows it’s an important thing and he wants to be dressed the right way. But yes the progress on him is just that he is so ready to learn and accept the gospel! He asked us this week how much time we have for him each lesson because he noticed we don’t spend too much time just talking and talking haha (good when people ask you why you walk so fast or something like that. I just always tell them it’s because our message is so important and there’s so many people that need to hear about it!) Well anyways, he’s reading the Book of Mormon like crazy.. He looks for his answers there and he applies the things he learns to his life! He told us that he’s been more humble and patient since we started teaching him. So he has a baptismal date for April 12! If he goes to church this next Sunday.. So hopefully hopefully he’ll go!! He kept saying last night that maybe he would learn lots and things if he went to church.. uh yes! So now I am really sure that he’ll go next Sunday haha.

So our lesson with brother Allan last night though was really funny because we had planned to teach him Word of Wisdom to start preparing him for baptism and so that he knows that his choice to stop drinking is the right thing… But he also had tons of questions about repentance and the Atonement. So lesson three is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Atonement, faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost and enduring to the end). So while he was talking and asking questions at the beginning, Sister Ril and I were sign languaging the whole time what we were going to teaching.. L3… no wait… WOW… No L3… Okay yeah yeah Lesson three! It was a really great lesson though just because he has so much faith and real intent.

We cleaned the church on Saturday with the Branch (about 5 members showed up) haha. So that was something this week…. Oh yeah so there are so many more missionaries here from other religions than my past areas! I think I saw maybe one other missionary in Naga and that was it, but here we see Jehovah Witnesses all over the place! Weird cuz we’re in the middle of no where. Well anyways.. awkward when your teaching a lesson and some Jehovah Saski’s (witness in Tagalog) come to that house and are standing outside the door…. Haha. After they left though our investigator (Annalisa) told us that she usually hides from them. So that’s good she doesn’t hide from us! Hopefully her and her husband keep listening!

Well yep that’s it this week. Sister Ril and I have been learning so much from each other. My Tagalog is still improving TONS but I’ve also learned lots from her about teaching. I know this work is the best thing I could be doing right now and I’m so thankful Heavenly Father gave this opportunity to me to serve Him and to teach the Gospel. I love reading my scriptures everyone! Do that everyday because everyday, we are either progressing or digressing . We need our spiritual food EVERYDAY so that we are progressing and becoming just a little bit better every single day of our lives. Being perfect is still a long ways away for me but I know that little by little and through the Atonement, I can one day be perfect after this life! So that’s our goal! We’re becoming perfect! Love you all!

Sister Taylor

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This is how a lot of the Fillipino’s cook. Be thankful for your ovens!

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All four Sister Missionaries in Jaycee’s apartment wanted to wear white, so three of the white shirts in this picture are Jaycee’s.